December 17, 2012

The other night when my daughter Gabi and I were out to dinner, she scolded me for taking pictures of our food and instantly sharing them on social media. “This is the most anti-social meal I’ve ever had,” complained my 17-year-old.

Since that moment, I’ve been rethinking the insanity of my life. After all, she had a good point.

We were in a really fabulous neighborhood Indian restaurant. When the samosa appetizer arrived, my reaction was: Wait! Don’t eat it yet! I need a shot of it on my iPhone! As I hit “send” to upload the picture to the photo-sharing website Instagram, she dug into the mashed potato delight wrapped in fried dough.

“This is delicious!” she said, munching away. “Aren’t you going to try it?”

In a second, hon, in a sec. The waiter had just set my drink on our table. It took a few minutes to style the pretty blue Bombay Gin cocktail for another Instagram shot. Meanwhile, my child glared at me as she continued to eat alone.

Is this any way for a mother to behave???!

The answer is obvious, especially since I’m writing to you from a feeling of total exhaustion. In addition to managing my basic daily life as a single working mom, there’s the time required for social media, which I enjoy. Actually, I don’t spend much time on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — I’m only on each site once or twice, every day or two. But then there’s blogging, which I also love. As for the endless emailing and constant texting, that’s just life.

Or is it?

Well, what if it all stopped? Not forever, mind you. Just for a little while, like a week or so.

The thought has crossed my mind because I will have a bunch of days off between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Since I really need to relax, I’ve started fantasizing about going back to my personal Stone Age. Imagine, a few days of minimal interaction with devices….

I don’t know if I could — or should — actually unplug. If any of you have tried, I could use some advice. Help!

In a way, the re-education has begun in our home. Up until now, I’ve been the one yelling at Gabi to put that damn iPhone away during meals. But last night, we got in the car to meet her daddy for sushi. She took the driver’s seat, both literally and in what she said next.

“No taking pictures of the food at dinner,” she ordered, as she steered the car to the restaurant.

“Okay,” I said meekly.

Even though my fingers were twitching to shoot our array of appetizers (oshinko pickles, fried oysters, wasabi red snapper, vegetarian dumplings, clam soup) the iPhone stayed in my pocket for entire meal.  The restraint was worth it since my ex-husband and our kid spent the next two hours having a very nice conversation instead.  :)